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Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b

Design for the F.E.2 began in 1913, when pusher planes were deemed necessary to allow an useful field of fire for the gunner. Production was delayed for nearly a year, however, and by the time the F.E.2 appeared in August of 1914, the pusher plane concept was becoming obsolete. By 1916, the plane had been surpassed by tractor plane designs. Despite being pulled from the fighting scout role, its usefulness as a night fighter, bomber, and for home defense ensured its production until the end of the war. Overall, 1,939 F.E.2as and -bs were built, as well as 386 -ds.

The F.E.2b arranged the pilot to the rear and the gunner/observer to the front. The gunner was able to cover a 180-degree field-of-fire with one or two fixed Lewis MGs. The crew positions were reversed for night flying. A 350-lb. bomb load could also be carried.

The plane has an endurance of 3 hours. It burns 4.5 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo (excluding bombs) costs $5.50.

 

Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b

Subassemblies: Recon Fighter chassis +1; Heavy Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 3 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 89-kW HP gasoline engine with 89-kW old prop and 15-gallon fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 2 XCS Body

Cargo: 6 Body

 

Armor F RL B T U

Body: 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W 2/2W

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3

 

Weaponry:

Aircraft LMG/.303 Lewis [Body:F] (250 rounds).

 

Equipment:

Body: Casemate mount.

 

Statistics:

Size: 32'x48'x12.5' Payload: 0.49 tons Lwt.: 1.49 tons

Volume: 96 Maint.: 81 hours Cost: $6,163

HT: 6. HPs: 8 Body, 180 each Wing, 2 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 80 aAccel: 2 aDecel: 44 aMR: 11 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 34 mph. Take-Off Run: 193 yards. Landing Run: 116 yards.

gSpeed: 124 gAccel: 6 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.

 

Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 494 sf. The weight, cost, HPs, Surface Area and Size Modifier of the chassis were halved to reflect the open-frame structure of the historical craft. Wing weight, cost and HPs were halved to lower design weight. Design payload was 860 lbs; the historical value has been substituted. Design aSpeed was 74 mph. Design weight was decreased 5% to the historical. Performance calculations were based on historical values for wing area and loaded weight. Some aircraft installed a second Lewis gun. Bomb load was 350 lbs.; the types of bombs used were not specified.

 

Variants:

The F.E.2a (1915) was equipped with a 75-kW engine.

The F.E.2c had the pilot and gunner reversed for night flying. 2 built.

The F.E.2d possessed a 186-kW engine.

Other versions with experimental engines were designated -e, -f, -g, and -h.

 

From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic